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  Topic: DI EN&V, Open comments and archive< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Wesley R. Elsberry

Posts: 4945
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 17 2017,22:26   

Thinking about it further...

My notability in Wikipedia terms has more to do with my public opposition to religious antievolution efforts (and press and other notice of such, including the DI's own intermittent ragging on me) than with the details of what I did as a marine biologist or am doing now with real estate. As Klinghoffer notes with frustration, just being good at a job doesn't make someone necessarily notable. Lots of people do good to superb jobs in their chosen profession without ever coming near having "notability" in the Wikipedia sense. It's entirely fair to say that had I only stuck to marine biology, or real estate, or medical research, or photojournalism, or aerospace, or digital cartography, or statistics, or web design and programming, the odds are that, no, I wouldn't have a Wikipedia page. I'm proud of what I have accomplished in my marine biology career, which has spanned work on histology and epidemiology of fin whales, biosonar sound production in dolphins,  hearing sensitivity in dolphins, white whales, and sea lions, and data integrity for records of manatee mortality, but I would have to say that that alone would not have made me notable for Wikipedia. (As mentioned previously, I have received recognition within the field of marine mammalogy, so whatever notability can be said to be attached to having your peers commend you for an award in innovation in research methods covering a two-year period is mine.) Because I have been an effective advocate for science in a public controversy, yes, that does makes a difference for notability. So the Wikipedia formulation of "X is a notable Y" isn't necessarily that X is notable solely for Y, but rather that X is a notable person (someone who verifiable sources have actually taken notice of) who does Y. Klinghoffer would like people to be incensed about that.

Klinghoffer can, though, look forward to Bechly becoming notable in exactly that way as he does publicly foolish -- and thus notable -- stuff for the Discovery Institute involving undermining science education. Bechly has a ways to go to catch up with DI Fellows who have broken that path before, including Dembski and Behe, whose pages at Wikipedia certainly meet anyone's standards of notability concerning exactly that public controversy, and their notability for Wikipedia is, just like mine, not based upon whatever degree of success they've had in the academic careers they have chosen (more for Behe than Dembski, certainly). The "top scientist" label Phil Johnson wanted to hang on them simply doesn't fit. In the meantime, I would think Bechly could be added to the DI C®SC page noting his affiliation, like Casey Luskin is noted there. It would be a start.

For my own involvement in the public controversy, I can point folks at TalkOrigins, Panda's Thumb, and The Austringer, in addition to this site. What is not up for debate is whether I have actually been a marine biologist, or any of the other things I have successfully turned my hand to over my lifetime.

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

  792 replies since Jan. 20 2011,10:32 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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